10 February 2020
XI SENDS CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO 33RD AU SUMMIT
President Xi Jinping on Sunday warmly congratulated African countries and their people on the holding of the 33rd African Union (AU) summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
In his congratulatory message to the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the AU, Xi pointed out that since last year, under the guidance of the AU, African countries have actively explored development paths suited to their own conditions and adhered to dealing with African affairs in African ways.
Noting the official launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Xi said that Africa has made solid progress in its unity and self-improvement and its global influence has increasingly grown.
Xi noted that the China-Africa relationship is currently at its best in history, adding the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) led to a new wave in developing the China-Africa friendship, with the implementation of its results injecting new vigor into their practical cooperation in various fields.
As the world is encountering profound changes unseen in a century, jointly building an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future is in the common interests of the Chinese and African peoples, the Chinese president said.
Xi said China will continue adhering to the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and the right approach to justice and interests, push for a comprehensive implementation of the results of the FOCAC Beijing Summit, and accelerate the two sides' joint efforts to build the Belt and Road, so as to enable greater contribution to Africa's development and to the benefit of both peoples.
CHINESE PILOT FERRIES STRANDED PASSENGERS HOME
"Wherever you are, the motherland is always behind you, welcome home!"
This was the broadcast on a plane piloted by Zhong Rui on Xiamen Airlines Flight MF818, which picked up Chinese citizens stranded in the Philippines due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Xiamen Airlines applied for six flights from East China's Fujian province's Quanzhou to Manila, capital of the Philippines, making the back-home flights available from Wednesday to Monday. Thanks to this effort, about a thousand Chinese tourists stranded in the Philippines are going to go back home.
Zhong, from Longyan in Fujian province is mainly responsible for routes from China to Southeastern Asia. The 34-year-old Zhong has more than 10 years of flying experience after he graduated from Civil Aviation Flight University of China and joined Xiamen Airlines in 2010 before he became a pilot in 2014.
As one of the excellent pilots in Xiamen Airlines, Zhong was recognized for his work to keep flight safety in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Zhong usually spends the Spring Festival holiday with his wife and two sons. But he happened to be on duty this year.
During the three days of flights to the Philippines from Wednesday to Friday, Zhong said he was already used to these routes since it's part of his daily routine at work.
"It's actually my first time to fly with a mask, but I was not afraid to carry out this task at all. I'm quite optimistic," he laughed.
Zhong said his flight to Jakarta was canceled before he was informed by the airlines on Feb 4 that he was going to pick up stranded travelers in the Philippines.
His family gave him their full support for the special task, including his wife.
"She told me I should stand up at this critical time as a Party member for dozens of years. She can take good care of the family. I have her support," said Zhong.
Zhong's parents also share the same view and told him to protect himself and accomplish his work. Zhong's father works at the epidemic prevention station in Changting, a county in Longyan city in eastern Fujian province, fighting at the front line. So, he understands his son's situation.
For the flight to Manila, Zhong said the most important thing is to communicate with the crew and ensure prevention and protection work. "I understand the anxiety of the stranded travelers there, because they have no idea when they are able to go home since all flights were canceled suddenly," he said.
Zhong said he couldn't guarantee that there was no suspected case of the infection among so many passengers. Therefore, he pays special notice to avoid panic and movement among the passengers if something happens. The safety of the whole crew and the passengers was guaranteed in the journey.
Fortunately, things at Manila International Airport run smoothly. Zhong said there's no sign of discrimination or segregation from the airport staff in the Philippines.
"As the first flight picking up stalled Chinese, we received heartfelt warmth from workers in the airport in the Philippines and were deeply touched," he said.
NO HARD PROOF OF AEROSOL TRANSMISSION
There is no definitive answer as to whether the novel coronavirus can be transmitted via aerosols so far, according to medical expert on Sunday.
Feng Luzhao, a researcher with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that at a press conference that aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols, which can float for long distance and cause infection after inhalation.
But there is no need for the public to panic since no evidence showed that the new virus could be contracted by aerosols, he said, adding that the most common transmission routes of the novel coronavirus are found during direct transmission, which is caused by inhalation of air close to a patient who sneezes and coughs.
He suggested the public to open windows to help with ventilation at least twice a day, which is effective to lower the risks of getting infected.
Feng also said that the possibility of getting infected by consuming fruits and vegetable contaminated by the virus via direct transmission or contact transmission is relatively low.
PEOPLE START PREPARING TO RESUME WORK
To maintain stability and promote healthy economic development amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, measures have been taken to prepare for resuming work in different places in China.
Staff members have started to disinfect workshops and self-protection training has also been carried out to prevent staff from being infected by the novel coronavirus pneumonia in East and South China.
More financial support as part of new measures is expected to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to resume production as soon as possible, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the country's top industry regulator.